If only all our troubles were as easily solved as hopping in a kart and thundering in circles chucking magical items at each other.

That's all it takes to bring Sonic and his enemies together. I say enemies, gone are the days Doctor Eggman is a notable threat to the hasty hedgehog's existence, unless you count terrifically poor driving.

So let's be honest, you shouldn't be expecting a huge change to the tried-and-tested format of 'cute characters speed around vivid courses and annoy one another'. There's a soft story of sorts, a reasonable collection of tracks, online racing, kart mods and all the other requisite bits.

Yes this is called Team Racing, which offers the prospect of chumming up and sharing track goodies in order to thrash others like-minded groups, but apart from this hook, the classic entrails from previous kart racers are firmly wedged in the abdomen. Teaming up also delivers a boost ability for your whole gang, activated once your power bar hit maximum.

But while teaming up is fine for the none-competitive family, it doesn't cut the mustard in mine. All four of us, ages 11 to 45, jaws clenched so tightly I can hear our dentist calling, won't settle easily for lower places, and there are precious few multiplayer games which present such venomous local split-screen action.

Team Sonic Racing may not offer much in the way of family harmony, but it wins every time for this elderly gamer who loves nothing more than leaving family members choking in his dust.